Sharing on social networks


My friend and I regularly share files. Can we use a USB stick or is there something else we can use so that we don’t burn CDs? He’s on a PC and I’m on a Mac.

Yes, you certainly could use a USB stick, or thumb drives. They’re usually formatted for use on Windows PCs, which means your friend can also read and write on it using a Mac. Using “file transfer” services is often the most cost-effective and convenient method. Lately, I’ve been recommending that users check out Dropbox. All you need to do is create an account on and you’ll get 2 GB of free storage space. Once you’ve got your account set up, you create a folder and invite your friend to share the folder. Your friend will also get 2 GB of free storage and he can invite his friends to share, and so on, and so on.

Dropbox is a really handy tool for sharing files with people across multiple platforms. Each user creates his or her own account and password so there’s no confusion about setting up and remembering passwords and letting people know what your own settings are. That’s great for security as well. All the files stored on Dropbox are encrypted so your data is secure. If you need more space you can certainly buy more with their monthly hosting plans.

You can access Dropbox with a web browser and instantly start sharing files. You can also download a client for Macintosh or Windows, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry operating systems. More and more app developers are including Dropbox as a storage location. For a lot of people this is their first foray into Cloud computing by extending their file system into the Cloud.

I am asking for an opinion on this one. I am very suspicious of Facebook. My young son wanted very desperately to have an account, so much so that he has created his own account after I said no. I suggested that he unsubscribe while we investigate the issue. What is your take on Facebook?

Facebook is becoming a necessary part of your digital life more and more. It has many good points, such as allowing families and friends to keep in touch, as well as allowing Facebook users, or “fans,” to follow people and companies that they are interested in.

In the area of web development, we are finding more and more websites are using Facebook accounts to authenticate users. The benefit of that is that the end user has only one account that they need to manage. By authenticating themselves against Facebook, they are able to access other sites quite easily. This is also more convenient for the developers.

There are ways you can monitor your son’s use of Facebook. First of all you should have an open honest discussion with him about the dangers of using a service like Facebook. Make sure he’s aware about such things as Internet bullying and that there are unscrupulous people out there who will take advantage of him if he’s not careful. You can insist that he add a trusted friend, such as a favourite aunt or uncle. Also when you set up an account don’t publish your birth year and don’t put too much personal information on it, such as a cell phone number. In the excitement of social networking people often lose sight of things that should be kept private.

Also make sure that your son understands that he is the master of his destiny, not Facebook, or Apple or Microsoft. In the light of wikileaks, keep in mind that if something is “nobody’s business” then it doesn’t belong online.